I am getting rather tired of Councillor James Lewis, chair of West Yorkshire passenger transport authority Metro, constantly criticising First buses whenever they put their prices up.
No one likes a fares increase, but he does not speak for me or any bus passenger in West Yorkshire.
If Coun Lewis looks at the facts, he might see a different picture.
Take a return trip to Leeds from Wetherby of about 28 miles. Compared to my average car doing 48 miles per gallon, I have worked out that (for the past five years) there is almost no difference between car and bus – in 2014 it equated to 14p a mile.
But the car figure does not include MOT, tax, insurance and parking so the bus easily comes out on top.
Buses are always cheaper than trains too.
The First bus ticket includes all routes in Leeds and to travel further afield in West Yorkshire their ticket (and Metro’s) is particularly good value.
I am more interested in quality than cost – do we get what we pay for? On the whole – yes.
The Wetherby service has comfortable, modern, well-driven and, most importantly, reliable double-deckers, though there are still too many drivers with no customer service skills.
Does Councillor Lewis take any of the above into account or is he just playing politics with a very important issue?
And why do Metro seem to only ever criticise First and not the other bus companies who put up their prices at other times of the year?
Councillor Lewis needs to concentrate on sorting out the issues in his own organisation.
You never hear First management criticising Metro, even though their poor performance directly affects First’s business.
I suspect that this antagonism between Metro and First is exactly why Leeds has a poor Christmas and New Year service compared to other towns and cities and why it has had no night buses for the past six years.
It is a disgrace and surely time for Metro to find a new chair with a more conciliatory attitude, and one who can sensibly represent bus passengers in West Yorkshire.
Paul Kirby, Wetherby
DIY is no job for an 80-year-old
I AM writing this letter on behalf of a number of residents who live in Pennwell Garth in Swarcliffe.
The company that runs and maintains the property has sent the residents letters informing them that in the near future all residents will be responsible for some repairs to the property. These repairs have not been itemised yet.
I wonder if the powers that be have even bothered to find out anything about the residents? A good number of them are over 70 years of age – some are over 80.
How on earth do they expect people at that time of life to even carry out minor repairs?
Even changing a light bulb can cause stress and anxiety.
I had to laugh at the statement made by the company that they are willing to supply a free tool kit to the residents!
How on earth do they expect people at 70 and 80 years old to pick up new skills?
These people have worked hard all their lives and deserve to have a little peace and quiet in retirement.
I would say to the company responsible for running these properties: get back to the drawing board, meet these people and try and come to some kind of arrangement that will work out for both parties concerned.
T Valentine, Leeds
Dortmund plan skirts the issue
Sally Hall’s recent column (YEP, December 16) on plans in the German city of Dortmund to add a female companion to the little walking man shown on the city’s traffic lights amused me.
In a similar vein, I have often wondered, since 90 per cent or more of women today wear trousers, what they will do in future about the sign for ‘ladies’ lavatories.
As one who sticks to skirts or a dress I am in the minority, and it is getting more and more difficult to find ordinary ‘day dresses’ for older people who do not wish to display their legs above the knee and their breasts.
What there are are nearly all in polyester, which doesn’t breathe and makes some of us very hot in summer.
Then shops wonder why sales have gone down and I meet people wandering round saying, ‘there is nothing I want today as they are all the same, for younger people, or very expensive in specialised shops’.
When girls leave school they throw off their uniforms and then join the rest with black trousers!
There seems to be no brown, green or any other shades which we would find in skirts.
Given all this it seems rather silly for Dortmund to put women in skirts on their pedestrian crossings.
S Shippey, Meanwood
Charity begins at home
WE KEEP seeing Paul O’Grady on TV, pleading to save the children.
The best way to save children from poverty in this country is get out of the EU and then we will have £56m per day to help the people.
Not only that but if we did not send billions of pounds abroad then the people in need – the sick, pensioners, the unemployed etc – would get more money.
Charity begins at home. It is time Mr Cameron realised this and helped the people out of poverty instead of giving it to people abroad and to the EU.
It is time to act now.
Roger Watkinson, Halton
Rain or shine, I’ve got my YEP
MAY I take this opportunity to thank all the young people who deliver six days a week the Yorkshire Evening Post in all weather conditions, and most especially my delivery young lady Suzanne (who always closes my garden gate).
Thank you, and Happy New Year.
D Chapman, Meanwood
Give A&E a police force
I’ve just seen a report that says that the police are called to A&E every 10 minutes.
This is absolutely ridiculous.
Never mind doctors saying such people should be given a criminal record, if you’re in A&E due to an alcohol-abuse reason then you should be given a bill. If you won’t pay the bill then next time you’re in you won’t get treated. It’s unbelievable.
Why don’t the police force have a bunch of officers working in A&E?
Terry Watkinson, Allerton Bywater
Unnecessary toll on NHS
Most of the unprecedented use of the NHS accident and emergency departments is due to unnecessary visits by people who do not have an emergency medical condition and should really be treated elsewhere or not at all in the case of self-limiting illness.
I qualified in 1963 and at that time it was quite acceptable for a person attending A&E unnecessarily to be told to go away.
Indeed I did it many times myself.
I don’t think that today’s doctors would be confident to do this as there is always the constant threat of being sued for negligence.
The NHS problem will never be solved until people learn to take some responsibility for themselves.
Otherwise the country will not be able to afford to bring in the newer treatments for cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc which are highly effective but costly.